While the walk on the 2 km Dubrovnik wall was thoroughly enjoyable, I find the walk by the sea on the high walls from Fort Bokar, through Fort Lawrence to St. John’s Fort was particularly refreshing and breathtaking. Along this length of the wall, one can have a panoramic view of the deep blue Adriatic Sea.
Dubrovnik has been subjected to various sieges throughout its long history. The sea walls measure from 1.5 to 6 meters thick, depending on their location and its strategic importance. These walls were built to defend the city from sea-based attacks, particularly from the Republic of Venice, which was then considered a threat to Dubrovnik.
Fort Bokar (at the fore ground below), completed in 1463, was built as a two-story casemate fortress century while the city walls were being reconstructed. It was conceived as the key point in the defense of the Pile Gate, the western fortified entrance of the city. It is a key part of the system of defensive walls that surround the old city of Dubrovnik. These walls were never breached by hostile armies during the Middle Ages.
Fort Lawrence (below left) is a free standing fort outside the city wall, watching over Fort Bokar (on the right). It is known as Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar. The fort is quite extraordinary. To suit the topography and the geology of the area, it was built triangular in shape and was stepped in the three terraces as we can see here. To resist the enemy cannons, the sea-side walls are very thick — nearly 12m thick.
The walls are 37m high and the thickest portion is 12m on the water side. In around 1038, it was said that the town folk built this in 3 months to deter the Venetians from doing the same thing so they could control Dubrovnik from the vantage point. The tallness of the fort can be appreciated if one compares the size of the fort with the boat seen on the photo below.
One of Dubrovnik’s most popular cafes is situated on the cliffs just outside the sea walls with steps leading down to the lower cliffs. . . . . a popular spot for sun-tanners and brave swimmers. We were almost tempted to have a drink and cool ourselves down there.
After a long walk under the sun, we reached St. John’s Fort (below) and have a good view of the Revelin on the other side of the harbor (top most photo) before ending one of our most unforgettable walkabouts.